Looking to buy a Guam hotel?
“The estate of Polaris Guam LLC” which did business as the 335-room Verona Resort & Spa is for sale, with bids due Dec. 7, 4 p.m. CHamoru standard time /Dec. 6, 10 p.m., Pacific standard time, according to the Chapter 7 Trustee at the District Court of Guam.
If needed, an Auction will be held via Zoom on Dec. 16, 9 a.m. CHamoru standard time/Dec. 15, 3 p.m., Pacific Standard Time.
The minimum bid will be $11.5 million with a deposit required of $333,000
For additional information or to obtain a Purchase Sale Agreement, contact the Trustee’s counsel Chuck Choi @ [email protected]/ 1-808-533-1877 Extn. 1, or John Terlaje @ [email protected]/1-671-477-8894
According to Journal files, David Su is president and general manager of Polaris Guam. Polaris saw earlier legal action. On Feb. 5, 2020, Kloppenburg World Bell Partnership sued to recoup lease money owed it by Polaris. Kloppenburg World Bell owns part of the Verona property that extends from the corner to the hotel entrance.
Polaris defaulted on $9.07 million owed to First Hawaiian Bank, according to a notice of sale under mortgage announcement on Nov. 26, 2019. The resort was due to be sold on Dec. 20 during a public auction at the Tamuning mayor’s office, but according to documents registered with the Guam Department of Land Management, Su secured a mortgage for $9 million from Yao, Chu-Shiang of Taipei.
The Verona formerly did business as Bellagio Suites and Spa, after Polaris Guam purchased the property in September 2011. It began operation with a soft opening at the end of January 2012. The 12-story building was formerly the Sherwood Hotel and sat empty for more than 10 years.
CDC reclassifies Marianas destinations
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remove Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands from its COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination on Dec. 6. This policy change will formally list the islands in the Mariana Islands chain as domestic destination for the United States, according to releases from the offices of both governors.
NMI sees more fatalities
The Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Health Corp. and the COVID-19 Taskforce confirmed Dec. 5 the NMI’s fourth and fifth deaths, who were unvaccinated residents. There are now 1,104 COVID cases in the NMI, “with more to be announced soon,” according to the release.
“There’s a lot of concerns in the community about the increase in positive cases,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres during a Dec. 3 government press conference.
He said that while the goal is to do mass community-based antigen testing, there are other measures being deliberated to mitigate the issue, including a possible 10 p.m. curfew and giving establishments the option of either 50% occupancy or 100% with proof of vaccination.
He also announces there will be a $500 bonus for all island retirees, and a $500 utility credit to all residential accounts.
In other NMI news, due to the rising number of COVID cases in Saipan, the Marianas Visitors Authority will focus on its Marianas Christmas Village, Christmas Tree display, and light sculptures and cancel other activities for this year’s Christmas in The Marianas celebration. Live entertainment and vendor sales on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 at Garapan Fishing Base are cancelled. However, MVA is still seeking 10 participants for its Marianas Christmas Village display, which will offer cash prizes for the top three winning displays.
Camp Blaz dining facility construction awarded
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific awarded a $56 million firm-fixed price task order Nov. 30 to Black Construction-Tutor Perini JV for the construction of an enlisted dining facility at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz. The 40,000 square foot enlisted dining facility aims to serve 1,020 persons per hour. The project also provides a 3,000 square foot cold storage warehouse, a 2,000 square foot general-purpose warehouse and more than 7,000 square yards of paved parking and loading areas.
The project has a completion date of December 2023 and is funded by the Government of Japan’s mamizu money, according to a Dec. 2 release from NAVFAC Pacific.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded Guam $1 million “to support the island’s healthcare response efforts and economic recovery relative to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Dec. 2 releases from the Office of the Governor and the Office of Sen. Tina Rose Muna Barnes. Funds will be used to produce the Guam Agriculture Master Plan, $375,000; a study for Development of Additive Manufacturing on Guam, $300,000; a feasibility study for the development of the transshipment industry in Guam, $250,000; and the development of an Economic Impact Model, $75,000.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs is awarding $1.85 million to the Bureau of Economic Analysis to collect gross domestic product data for the U.S. territories and to facilitate statistical data planning and improvements in Guam and American Samoa.
The Guam Economic Development Authority will continue to take applications until 5 p.m. on Dec. 9, for the Guam Small Business Pandemic Assistance Grant Program 2021.
The grant is awarded to those businesses that suffered business interruption in 2020.
Economic outlook remains uncertain
GDP for Guam decreased 11.9% in 2020 from $6.31 billion to $5.84 billion, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which released the information Dec. 1.
According to a Guam Chamber of Commerce 2022 economic forecast, uncertainty remains – so that the island’s economy is forecast to be better in 2022, but the effect of the omicron variant remains unknown. Federal expenditures into the island in 2020 and 2021 rose to a total of $8 billion, the most the island has seen, with construction a continuing strong industry.
Tourism will need to grow for the island to see balanced growth, experts said.
The Japan government announced Dec. 2 that a ban on new incoming flight bookings has been dropped a day after it was announced. The country does have cases of the omicron variant.
The Korean government is again requiring returning residents to quarantine for 10 days as of Dec. 3, in a blow to visitor arrivals in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, but air travel will continue. Korean Airlines said it will continue flights in December to all international destinations, including Guam. Asiana Airlines is due to launch its first flight to Guam after an 18-year absence, according to Journal files.
For a detailed analysis, see the Deloitte & Touche ASC Trust Top Companies in Micronesia coverage in the November-December 2021 Guam Business Magazine at www.guambusinessmagazine.com
In other economic news, Credit Rating Agency Fitch confirmed the Guam Power Authority’s bond rating at BBB, or stable, according to a Dec. 3 release.
The Saipan Office of Gregorio Camacho “Kilili” Sablan, the Northern Mariana Islands delegate to Congress will be closed to visitors until further notice, due to the NMI’s COVID numbers. For assistance call 670-323-2647 or email kilili[email protected].
For your diary:
The Northern Mariana Islands chapter of the American Red Cross will host a Hollywood-themed fundraising dinner on Feb. 26 at the Kensington Hotel Saipan, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Hometown Hero Stars will be recognized at the event. For more information, contact the Red Cross at (670) 234-3459.
Pay-Less Supermarkets and Calvo’s Insurance Underwriters will host a Christmas bazaar on Dec. 11 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The bazaar will be held on Chalan Santo Papa between the Pay-Less Supermarket’s Corporate Office and Calvo’s Insurance and will result in a one-day road closure from 10 a.m. on Dec. 11, to midnight Dec. 12. The free event will offer festive holiday light displays, local small business crafters, a selection of food from various food trucks and holiday entertainment by The Radiants. Retired and active-duty members of the U.S. Marine Corps will attend to accept donations for Toys for Tots.
The Hotel Nikko Guam is holding a Light Show through Jan. 5 with four shows nightly on the hour from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Nikko’s Fountain lobby café will be open to serve desserts, bread, coffee and cold beverages.